[LMB] Dark Ages [not], was, What makes ...

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Thu Aug 22 00:04:38 BST 2019

Science and mathematics did not advance under the Romans, and ultimately
died out in the places their Empire incorporated, until the Renaissance.
We've (relatively recently) learned that the Greeks had analog
computational devices and the beginnings of calculus, both of which were
utterly forgotten.  The Roman cultural canon was almost entirely taken
directly from the conquered Greeks and didn't develop beyond them.

Roman society was (by modern standards) absurdly rigid and superstitious,
and was concerned with the practical acquisition of power before almost
anything else.  It's notable that in Barrayar's descent into 'barbarism' by
galactic standards, they not only preserved past culture but expanded upon
it - their development wasn't as wholly directed towards food cultivation
and warfare as a galactic might assume.  The Romans had no such balance.

Physics, mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, biology - all was utterly
ignored.  Where might we be today if all progress in those fields hadn't
been lost?

Matt G.

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